Why You Should Get a Home Inspection
For most people, buying real estate is the largest investment they will ever make. But even if you buy “a bargain” it is good practice to get a home inspection done before you finalize the purchase agreement.
Any good real estate agent giving their clients advice on how to buy a home will explain the home inspection contingency. By adding this contingency to your purchase agreement, if the home inspection reveals defects in the property, you will be able to cancel your offer without any penalties, within a specified timeframe.
What is a Home Inspection?
A good home inspection will cover all types of defects, big and small, as well as any safety issues – a broken stringer or tread on steps for example. It will also recommend where elements or items need to be serviced, repaired or replaced. In addition it will highlight any issues that are acceptable but need to be monitored for future repair or replacement.
While a home inspection may not identify everything wrong with a house, it will usually identify key problems that most people buying real estate for the first time often won’t notice. Often a home inspector will identify a potential problem and then suggest that the buyer calls in a specialist before concluding the purchase agreement. For instance there may appear to be a plumbing or electrical problem, in which case a qualified professional needs to verify the problems and say what it’s going to cost to rectify.
Home inspectors do not check for specialized problems like termite damage, mold, or site contamination.
The Value of Home Inspections
When you’re buying real estate, you may need to take risks, but with a report from a good home inspector, you have several options. If the problems are major and costly, you can cancel the purchase agreement – providing of course you have a home inspection contingency clause. Alternatively you can go back to the seller and, with the help of your real estate agent, renegotiate the price or remedy the repairs. You can tell the seller you won’t buy unless he or she fixes the major problems.
Your third option is to accept the problems and fix them yourself once you take ownership of the property.
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